Amazing Music

We had a wonderful weekend, filled with good music. First my heart was filled with beauty as we drove over mountain passes on Saturday afternoon on our way to southern Colorado to celebrate with a friend as she performed in concert the music from her new CD. (Here is a press release about the concert.) (You can listen to music clips from her first CD here.) Then, on Sunday we visited the small church our friends attend and enjoyed worship music similar to the churches we attended for years before coming out here.mountain pass

Alison was a homeschooling buddy of mine in Ohio when our kids were young. We started a homeschool co-op together and organized a group of families to do hands-on Ohio History. Alison’s family was very involved in leadership at the church we both attended. Over the years, we drifted apart. Our family moved to a different church and eventually to a different part of the state.

I reconnected with Alison on Facebook during the past year. I discovered that she and her husband now live in Southern Colorado—practically neighbors in western terms! And I found out that (among other things—she is an amazingly talented woman) she now writes and performs songs. The concert this weekend was celebrating the release of her second CD.singer alison

Alison is an awesome singer…and her songs connect with me on many levels. Most of them tell a story—or at least are based on a story. One of the benefits of hearing her in concert is that she gave us the story behind each song. This made for a wonderful evening of entertainment…but there is more…western singer

Alison was backed by an amazing group of talented musicians. If only I could have taken photos of the collection of instruments behind each man… In addition to the improv musical riffs in the middle of songs, it was enjoyable to watch how much fun each musician was having. If only I could have taken video of the toe-tapping, head bobbing, and body-dancing of these men jamming to the tunes…band

In addition to Alison’s own music, each musician shared one of his own songs, backed up by this talented group. Jakob, Randy and I were scrambling to write down the musician’s names and the pieces they shared. We hope to find some of this music on-line… Have you ever seen a proud, proud mother? Take a look at Alison’s face when her singer-songwriter daughter Emily took a turn as lead singer. (And we can’t wait til Emily someday releases her own CD with her own band—she was even more amazing than Alison!!)proud mama

Finally, as if all of this soaking in and filling up with evocative music wasn’t enough, I got a treat beyond most treats for me: Alison has cello tracks on her CD, and the cellist played in her backup group on Saturday night. Some of you know I’ve played cello since I was in 4th grade (although I haven’t played much recently). Ahhh…my heart sings when I hear good cello music and these tracks were live! I could watch the cellist, see him moving with the music, smiling in joy as he and the other musicians handed off the riffs, doing improv together. Yep, that’s what I said…a cellist doing improv. I didn’t know such a thing existed…but now I’m hungry to try it for myself.cello improv

I’ve played with the idea of playing “fiddle tunes” on my cello…but they really aren’t conducive to the larger instrument size. But improv? IMPROV?? I just might, maybe, be able to do that…

I chatted with the cellist (Mark Dudrow) after the concert. And he gave me a CD of him and a buddy doing cello duets/improv together. And he mentioned that he gives lessons. And now I really, really want to take some of those lessons. (Here’s one you-tube video clip of some of his improv although the cello duets are even more awesome!)cellist mark dudrow

I really don’t know how I can afford the gas money…or the lesson money…or even the time. But my friend Alison says I can stay overnight with her “when” I come up for lessons. And Mark says he is very flexible about lesson times. And even the idea of this makes my heart sing. And I might be able to get some tips via email to get me started. And maybe I could play along to both CDs for practice…and…and…and…

Guess it’s one more thing to add to my “dream list.” I’ve been playing with art for the past few months. Time to add some musical playing as well!